Electric vehicle explosion: 80-year-old man dies after EV battery explodes in house

  • An 80-year-old man lost his life when the battery of an e-scooter caught fire whilst charging 
  • The manufacturer of the scooter is PureEV and charges have been pressed by the local police
  • The incident occurred in Nizamabad in Telangana

In yet another instance of an EV catching fire, an 80-year-old man from Telangana State lost his life and two were injured on Tuesday night when a battery belonging to a PureEV scooter exploded. The man’s wife and grandson too suffered burn injuries in the incident. While the cause of the blast is till unknown, it’s noteworthy that the battery of the electric scooter was being charged overnight when it exploded. The local Police have pressed criminal charges against PureEV. 

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This is the third reported incident of death caused by an e-scooter battery-induced fire in India. Notably, a PureEV scooter caught fire in Warangal on April 19th, while a fire was reported in a PureEV scooter on March 30th in Chennai. Electric scooters from Ola, Okinawa and Jitendra EV have also been involved in fire accidents.

PureEV issues statement

“We deeply regret the incident and offer condolences to the family of the victim. Fully cooperating with the local authorities and seeking complete details from the user. The incident happened two days ago,” Pure EV said in a statement. They added they do not have any record of sale of the vehicle involved in the accident or of service by the user in their database. PureEV is exploring if the vehicle was purchased through a second hand sale.

EV battery explodes while charging

The victim, Ramaswamy, resided with his family in their Nizamabad house. The man’s wife, Kamalamma, and grandson, Kalyan, were sleeping in the living room whilst the e-scooter was charging overnight. Ramaswamy’s son Prakash had plugged in his e-scooter for charging at 12.30 am. The explosion took place at around 4 am, gravely injuring Ramaswamy, whilst his wife and grandson encountered burn injuries. He was at first taken to a local hospital for treatment. However, his condition deteriorated and he was being transferred to Hyderabad when he lost his life. 

Prakash, the owner of the scooter has lodged a complaint stating to the local Police, “While manufacturing the electric vehicle battery, standards were not followed and due to that our family suffered. Please take appropriate legal action.” The local Police from Nizamabad 3 Town Police Station have pressed charges on PureEV the manufacturer of the e-scooter under Section 304-a (causing death due to rash or negligent act) of the IPC.

Second fire incident on a PureEV on Tuesday 

This Telangana incident has become the seventh incident recorded so far of battery fires in an e-scooter. This was also one of the two incidents that happened in Telangana on Tuesday. Another report of a red PureEV Pluto catching fire on Tuesday was reported and was likely due to a battery malfunction as well. 

The unfortunate passing away of B Ramaswamy in Nizamabad is also the third incident of death caused by an e-scooter battery induced fire. Back in March, a man and his daughter lost their lives due to a fire caused by an Okinawa e-scooter in Vellore. Another incident of a battery fire in an e-scooter manufactured by HCD India while charging took the life of a 60-year-old man in December 2021. 

The government in March deputed a team of experts to investigate the incidents. On April 7th, it had called technical teams of Ola Electric and Okinawa Scooter for an explanation on recent fires in their EVs. All testing requirements for batteries, battery management, and cells are now being updated amid mounting worries about safety issues surrounding two-wheeler EVs owing to previous fire accidents.